King Akhenaten a.k.a Amenhotep IV is known to be one of the most controversial pharaohs to ever rule Egypt gaining the name the Heretic king as he attempted to transform of the core of Egyptian society to adopt a new way of life under one belief system by establishing the first known monotheistic state religion in the world and cutting many ties with most of our allies during his reign which became known as the Amarna Period. In his reign, Akhenaten started a building program along Luxor and some of them still standing today.
King Akhenaten is one of the kings of the 18th dynasty, his reign lasted from 1353 B.C to 1336 B.C, his name meaning “Living spirit of Aten”, he was once called Amenophis IV which means Amun is satisfied, and he is also known as Akhenaton, Ikhnaton, and Khuenaten.
He ruled Egypt for 17 years from 1351 to 1334 BC after his father Pharaohs Amenophis III death at the end of his 38-year reign, he was the second son of Amenophis III and his wife Queen Tiyee, He wasn’t preparing to be a successor king until the death of his older brother Thutmose.
Many theories confirm that he suffered from Marfan Syndrome which is a genetic defect that damaged the body’s connective tissue leaving him shunned as a child and would explain his unique special features.
His main wife was Nefertiti which is often referred to as the most beautiful woman in the world.
They had six daughters and some of them had his medical condition, he had many children from his other wives most famous of them were Smenkhkare, Tutankhamen, Ankhesenamun who was Tutankhamun wife.
Akhenaten and Religious Monotheism
King Akhenaten had the vision to unite the people of Egypt under one god Aton the sun disk. He came up with his idea of monotheism in order to end more than 2,000 years of polytheism to fulfill his political agenda by putting an end to the growing power of the cult of Amun as they owned land more than the king so in the 9th year of his rule he outlawed the old religion and declared himself the living incarnation of a single all-powerful deity known as Aten as the all-powerful, loving, supreme creator and sustainer of the universe.
He even closed all the temples and suppressed religious practices. He transferred the official capital Thebes that supports Amun to the new capital Horizon of Aton in Modern Armarna and he ordered to cut the name of Amun from his temples in all of Egypt.
Akhenaten and Foreign Policies
Akhenaten ruled an empire that dominates Palestine, Phoenicia, and Nubia. He wasn’t able to create a powerful diplomatic connection with other countries.
The famous Amarna letters between Egypt and Cannan which are a cache of diplomatic correspondence, proof of his negligence of maintaining any kind of a friendly relationship with our allies.
He was occupied with his new religious, interested in creating art and poetry for his new god and ignoring his empire. He failed in his attempt to declare Aton the only god in Egypt and Thebes and Amun returned once again as the official capital and god. His predecessor referred to him as a criminal or an enemy.